Albon news to precede silly season ’domino effect’

"I expect a domino effect towards Silverstone"

By GMM

16 May 2024 - 09:01
Albon news to precede silly season (...)

A "domino effect" in the exciting Formula 1 driver market may have just begun, as Alex Albon removes himself from contention for a move away from Williams.

Two weeks ago in Miami, the British-born Thai driver was not yet ready to commit himself to the Grove based team.

"Nico (Hulkenberg) has triggered something with the announcement at Sauber and I’m sure that the second driver will be announced soon," Albon had said.

"A lot of decisions for the entire grid will be made in the next two weeks," he also predicted.

Indeed, Williams announced on Wednesday that Albon, 28, is staying put into the new regulations era beginning in 2026.

He had been tentatively linked in connection with Red Bull, Mercedes, but also Audi-owned Sauber, Haas and Alpine.

"It must be mentioned that the competition’s interest in Albon had recently waned somewhat after the mediocre start to the season, including a few crashes," noted Tobias Gruner, a journalist for Auto Motor und Sport.

Logan Sargeant’s seat alongside Albon looks to be in immediate danger, amid rumours the Toto Wolff-linked 17-year-old Kimi Antonelli might make his F1 debut as soon as he can secure a super license.

"According to our information," Gruner explained, "Mick Schumacher is not on team boss (James) Vowles’ list."

But the man who ousted Schumacher at Haas, former team boss Gunther Steiner, is not so sure.

"Who would have thought that Hulkenberg would come back after his three-year break and will now even be a works Audi driver?" Steiner told Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

"Who would have thought that Lewis Hamilton would ever leave Mercedes?" he added. "In Formula 1, anything is possible."

A major player still on the market is Ferrari refugee Carlos Sainz, but it’s believed Mercedes boss Wolff is prepared to wait until October - when it really is clear that Max Verstappen is staying at Red Bull.

Sainz doesn’t hide that Audi-Sauber is an option.

"My father will always speak well of Audi and how confident he is that every sporting project of Volkswagen will succeed," the Spaniard is quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali is expecting the next phase in the ’silly season’ to begin imminently.

"I expect a domino effect towards Silverstone," he told Italian media this week, "and a defined 2025 grid towards Monza."

Williams F1

Search

Formula 1 news

Pics

Videos